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The world in a raindrop

b&w etching of new castle courthouse, delaware

This was far and away THE most difficult shot I created for the “Delaware Before the Railroads” book. I wanted to get an exterior shot of the New Castle Courthouse in the town of the same name. Well, the early spring day I went there turned out to be rainy.

I’ve been shooting long enough to know that any weather situation can be turned to your advantage if you get creative. It had been raining pretty hard for an hour already when I arrived, but the forecast suggested a break in the rain. When that happened, I was studying what to do next when I came across this budding tree with water droplets along its branches.

Initially I was thinking I could do a water droplet closeup with the courthouse being suggested by an out of focus window. As you can see, these water droplets are quite small, and keeping them in focus with a handheld camera was a struggle. I’m showing you 4 shots here, but I probably had to take 10-15 to even get this many workable images.

Anyhow, as I was composing the shot shown above, I noticed the beautiful reflection of the building within the droplet, and immediately came in much closer. Below is the final result, and blown up to a full page it’s quite stunning.

The book’s available now for pre-order over on Apple Books.

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